Energy at the Surface of the Earth

Energy at the Surface of the Earth

An Introduction to the Energetics of Ecosystems

1st Edition - May 28, 1981

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  • Author: David H. Miller
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483257464

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Energy at the Surface of the Earth: An Introduction to the Energetics of Ecosystems presents way of looking at the manner in which the biological, physical, and cultural systems that mantle the landmasses of our planet receive, transform, and give off energy, which is an essential condition of existence that takes many forms. Energy conversions establish the climate in which these systems operate. The principal forms of energy that are converted at the ecosystem scale include radiant, latent, mechanical, chemical and fossil, and thermal. The book begins with radiant energy absorbed by ecosystems—a phenomenon that is independent of their surface temperature and that can be looked on as a burden or a gift, depending on circumstances. An increase in such absorption raises surface temperature, as described in the fulcrum chapter of the book, Chapter VIII. This increase in turn sets into action outflows of energy that by the first law of thermodynamics are equal in energy units, although not necessarily equal in quality to the inflows. The final chapters deal with vertical stratification and areal contrasts in energy budgets, the augmented energy budget of the city, and the responses that serve to keep the budget balanced.

Table of Contents

  • Preface


    Chapter I Introduction

    The Energy Budget

    The Locus of Energy Transformation

    Energy in Ecosystems


    Chapter II Surface Characteristics of Ecosystems

    Ecosystem Size and Structure

    Factors in Coupling of an Ecosystem with the Sun

    Radiative Coupling with the Atmosphere

    Coupling of an Ecosystem with the Atmosphere by Turbulence

    Coupling with the Substrate

    Ecosystems at the Active Surface of the Earth


    Chapter III Direct Solar Radiation

    Nature and Significance of the Solar Beam

    Geometry of the Solar Beam

    Incidence of the Solar Beam on Ecosystems under the Changeable Atmosphere

    Incidence of the Solar Beam on Ecosystems of Different Attitudes

    Spatial Patterns and Ecological Consequences


    Chapter IV Diffuse Solar Radiation

    The Diffuse Flux Generated by Rayleigh Scattering

    Diffuse Radiation under a Hazy Atmosphere

    Diffuse Radiation under a Cloudy Atmosphere

    Spectral Composition of the Diffuse Flux

    Variations over Time

    Spatial Variation


    Chapter V Total Incoming Solar Radiation

    The Relative Contributions of the Component Fluxes

    Flux Densities of Total Solar Radiation Incident on Ecosystems

    Spectral Composition of the Incident Solar Flux

    Determining the Combined Solar Fluxes on Horizontal Surfaces

    Variations in Total Solar Radiation over Time

    Spatial Differences in Total Solar Radiation


    Chapter VI Incoming Longwave Radiation

    Magnitude and Significance of the Flux

    Radiation under a Cloudless Sky

    Sources of Variation under Clouds

    Measurement and Estimation

    Variations over Time

    Spatial Variations in Incoming Longwave Radiation


    Chapter VII Radiant Energy Absorbed by Ecosystems

    Ecosystem Characteristics That Affect Absorption of Radiant Energy

    Geometric Components of Radiant Energy

    Spectral Composition of Radiant Energy Absorbed by Ecosystems

    Spectral Patterns of Absorptivity Coefficient

    Variations in Radiant-Energy Intake over Time

    Spatial Patterns of Absorbed Radiant Energy

    The Temperature-Independent Intake of Energy


    Chapter VIII Surface Temperature of Ecosystems

    Defining Surface Temperature T0

    Significance of Surface Temperature

    Determining Surface Temperature

    Variations over Time

    Spatial Patterns


    Chapter IX Longwave Radiation Emitted by Ecosystems

    The Longwave Flux

    Role in Ecosystem Energy Budgets

    Determination of Upward Longwave Radiation

    Variations in the Upward Flux of Longwave Radiation


    Chapter X Resultants of the Upward and Downward Radiation Fluxes

    The Net Exchange of Longwave Radiation between Ecosystem and Atmosphere

    Factors in the Net Exchange of Energy by Longwave Radiation

    Combining All the Radiation Fluxes: The Net All-Wave Deficit or Surplus

    Variations in Net All-Wave Radiation over Time

    Spatial Contrasts in Net All-Wave Radiation


    Chapter XI Fixing of Carbon by Ecosystems

    Gross Primary Production

    Net Primary Production

    Influences on Productivity and Translocation


    Chapter XII The Release of Carbon Fixed in Ecosystems

    Biological Energy Conversions

    Ecosystems in Steady State

    Energy Conversion by Fire


    Chapter XIII Broad-Scale Transformations of Fossil Energy

    Fossil Energy in the Management of Extensively Exploited Ecosystems

    Fossil-Energy Conversions in Farm Operations

    Fossil Energy in Ecosystems and Mosaics

    Energy in Circulation Systems


    Chapter XIV Phase Changes of Water in Ecosystems: I. Freezing and Thawing

    Presence and Characteristics of Snow Cover in Ecosystems

    The Energy Budget of Melting Snow Cover

    Effects of Terrain and Weather on the Energy Budget

    Thawing of Soil and Ice



    Chapter XV Phase Changes of Water in Ecosystems: II. Vaporization

    Energy Conversion by Vaporization

    Ecosystem Characteristics

    Atmospheric Removal of Vapor from Ecosystems

    Variations in Latent-Heat Conversions


    Chapter XVI The Flux of Sensible Heat from Ecosystems

    Ecosystem Characteristics

    The Atmospheric Environment as a Sink or Source for Sensible Heat

    Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relationships

    Variations in the Removal of Sensible Heat from an Ecosystem

    Spatial Contrasts


    Chapter XVII Substrate Heat Flux in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Role of the Soil in the Ecosystem

    Thermal Diffusivity and Admittance

    Heat Storage in the Daily Cycle

    Aperiodic Variations

    Heat Storage in the Annual Cycle

    Spatial Patterns of Soil-Heat Flux


    Chapter XVIII Substrate Energy Storage in Aquatic Ecosystems and Its Place in Their Energy Budgets

    Ecosystem Structure

    Coupling with the Sun

    Coupling with the Atmosphere

    Advection of Upstream Heat or Cold in Ecosystem Energy Budgets

    Variations in the Energy Budget


    Chapter XIX Potential and Kinetic Energy in Ecosystems

    Potential Energy in Ecosystems

    Potential Energy in Ecosystem Environments

    Kinetic Energy of Water in Ecosystems

    Atmospheric Kinetic Energy in Ecosystems

    Variations of Potential and Kinetic Energy


    Chapter XX Energy Budgets at Different Depths in Ecosystems

    The Ecosystem as Environment of Its Members

    Radiant-Energy Absorption at Different Levels


    Vertical Profiles

    Substrate Energy

    Stratification of Energy Budgets


    Chapter XXI Ecosystem Contrasts

    The Origins of Contrast

    Contrasts in Temperature-Independent Fluxes

    Contrasts in Surface Temperature

    Contrasts in Emitted Radiation and Energy Conversion

    Contrasts in Ecosystem Couplings

    Contrasts in the Outputs from Ecosystems

    Time Variations in Contrast

    The Variegated Mantle of the Earth


    Chapter XXII Energy Conversions at Nodes

    Points of Energy Concentration

    Characteristics of the Urban Interface

    Modified Radiant-Energy Intake

    Fossil-Energy Augmentation

    Temperature-Dependent Energy Fluxes

    Responses of Urban Ecosystems


    Chapter XXIII Integrating the Energy Fluxes

    Models of Ecosystem Energy Budgets

    Effects of Changes in Radiant-Energy Intake

    Effects of Changes in Surface Characteristics

    Effects of Changes in Atmospheric Conditions

    The Structure of Ecosystem Energy Budgets




Product details

  • No. of pages: 536
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1981
  • Published: May 28, 1981
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483257464

About the Author

David H. Miller

About the Editors

J. Van Mieghem

Affiliations and Expertise

Royal Belgian Meteorological Institute, Uccle, Belgium

Anton L. Hales

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